The Wrong Sort of Coal
Season 4, Episode 19
Air date July 24th, 2015
Written by DonaldDouglasandToby6
Directed by DonaldDouglasandToby6
Episode guide
Jason's Lost Friend
Broken Down Crane


Steam engines run on many different types of coal. American engines like Hank and Porter run on different coal than Sudrian engines like Thomas and Percy. That's one of the reasons American engines have to be rebuilt when they come to Sodor; their fireboxes won't support Sudrian coal.

One day, coal was being loaded into some trucks at the Docks. The giant claw of a crane dropped it into the trucks. "Nice work there, I guess..." mumbled Cranky, "Although I could do better." "Thanks!" replied the crane. Porter shunted the trucks onto a siding next to two other lines of coal trucks. One line was meant to back to the Mainland due to a shipping error, while the other two would stay on the island. Billy arrived to take one line of trucks to the coal bunkers on Sodor. "Hello Porter," said Billy. Porter looked up and smiled. "Hello there Billy. What's up?" "Nothing much, just delivering these coal trucks." Billy explained. The shunter coupled him up to the line of trucks on the far left. Salty shunted the brakevan and Billy set off on his journey.

An hour or two later, Billy had just finished delivering coal to Thomas at Ffarquhar and was resting in the shed by the station. Billy was dozing when suddenly he heard wheezing. He opened his eyes and saw that it was Thomas, struggling to pull his coaches out of the station. His cheeks were red and his funnel was pouring black smoke. "Thomas, we're not that heavy," snorted Annie indignantly. "Much too slow," agreed Clarabel. To Billy's surprise, Thomas was wheezing. "I... can't... pull..." he wheezed. "Something must be wrong with the coal. I'll phone for Toby." said the driver and he phoned the yardmaster. "Sorry," replied the yardmaster, "But Toby doesn't feel well either. Try Daisy, since she's a Diesel." Daisy soon arrived to take Annie and Clarabel. "Coaches! I don't deserve to pull!" she muttered as she was coupled up. "Oh the rudeness!" cried Clarabel. Daisy just rolled her eyes. Billy shunted Thomas onto a siding out of the way. "What happened Thomas?" asked Billy. "I... don't... know..." wheezed Thomas and he coughed. Billy was worried. "Do you know, Daisy?" asked the orange tank engine. "I'm... not sure." said Daisy worriedly, "I do hope you feel better, Thomas." Daisy purred away with the coaches, still grumbling under her breath about having to pull.

Some other steam engines started wheezing too, as Billy found out as he passed Tidmouth Sheds. Oliver's face was as green as his paintwork. BoCo arrived to take him and Toby to the Steamworks to see if anything was wrong. "Come on Toby and Oliver; let's go." BoCo said quietly. "...okay, BoCo." moaned Oliver. "You will be okay, right?" asked BoCo. Toby and Oliver said nothing. BoCo cringed as they wheezed and coughed. "Oh my, this isn't good at all," thought Billy as he cringed himself, "I must tell the Fat Controller!"

At Knapford Station, the Fat Controller was looking worriedly at his schedule when Billy puffed in. "Sir, sir! I think something's wrong with the coal! I saw Toby, Oliver and Thomas with the bad coal, and there are probably more engines with it too!" cried Billy. The Fat Controller was urgent. "Take me to Duck so we can see what coal it is," urged the Fat Controller. "Yes sir," said Billy. Billy puffed to Tidmouth, where they phoned for a coal inspector. "What seems to be the problem?" asked the coal inspector as he arrived by bus. "We need to inspect some coal at Arlesburgh," explained the Fat Controller, "I believe we have... a difficult situation." So Billy set off for Arlesburgh Junction, with the Fat Controller and the coal inspector in his cab. Duck was moaning to Jock as he wheezed. "Oh dear, oh dear... I don't feel well." mumbled Duck in despair. Jock snorted. "Maybe you ate a duck by accident, who knows." Billy puffed in with the people still in his cab. The coal inspector walked out of his cab and examined the coal in Duck's bunker. "Oh dear..." "What?" asked Duck's fireman. "Apparently you've all been using Bituminous coal. This isn't the first time this has happened either." said the coal inspector. "Oh yeah..." said Duck meekly. "Well, at least then we were successful to get rid of it before the engines used it," continued the coal inspector, "This time we have engines feeling sick. Unfortunately, it's a lot of them." The Fat Controller was worried. "But that means the Diesels will have to do all the work! They'll be lazy for sure... Some are more difficult to handle." "Nonsense, we have sensible Diesels like BoCo and Paxton." said the driver, "We should be alright." The Fat Controller sighed and walked back to Billy's cab, wondering what to do.

It wasn't just those engines however. All over the island the coal was making the engines sick. Bill and Ben had their fireboxes cleaned and were resting in their shed, waiting for the new coal. "I hope it arrives soon." said Timothy, who was with the tank engine twins, "I can't do all the work!" Donald was wheezing when he was with Duck at Arlesburgh Station. "Och, this is the worst coal I've ever had," said Donald. "I agree. This isn't Great Western coal." said Duck. "I dinna feel well either." moaned Douglas.

Murdoch had finally been repaired, arrived at the Docks and collected the other two lines of trucks. Salty and Porter were there. "Thanks Murdoch!" called Porter and he whistled. "No problem. Luckily I wasn't infected, due to me being at the Steamworks all this time." replied Murdoch and he puffed away with his long train; Murdoch was a strong engine indeed.

At Tidmouth, more engines were coughing and sneezing. Thomas had just had his firebox cleaned out, so he felt fine now. He waited for Murdoch to arrive with the English coal. "I wonder how this happened," he said to Edward. Edward wheezed before Murdoch steamed in. "I'm not sure, but it must be somebody. This could be an accident," murmured Edward, before coughing again. "Hello everyone. Here's the coal!" called Murdoch. Thomas was pleased as Thomas' fireman shoveled the clean coal into his firebox. Edward, after a fit of coughing, finally spoke up. "On the other hand, it... *cough* could've been on purpose." Thomas frowned and puffed out of the shed. Emily was cross in particular. "I'd like to figure out who did this! They must- *cough* Oh, I'm so sore..." "We all are. *cough* I'd *cough* stop it if *cough* I were *cough* you," sniffed Henry. Edward was alarmed. "Henry! You sound awful!" "I'm the worst of the lot..." replied Henry. "You should be the next to get your firebox cleaned out!" Edward said. "But somebody has to find out who was responsible for all this!" interrupted Duck, "Whether it was an accident or not!" "It could've been Diesel 10 if he somehow sabotaged coal." said Emily. "But how can a Diesel make coal unusable?" wondered Duck. "Maybe he poisoned *cough* it with some sort of *cough* chemical," suggested Henry. "Or maybe he used his claw to crunch it up, put it somewhere and then sprayed it." chuckled Duck. The engines all shared their idea on the matter, but nothing seemed that realistic.

Meanwhile, before returning to his branch line, Thomas decided he had to figure out who was responsible."Can we driver? It'd be a good thing for the whole railway!" he persisted. "Alright, Thomas. It is an important matter after all." said the driver. The fireman, however, was much more enthusiastic. "This'll be perfect!" he grinned to the driver, "I've always wanted to be a detective!" "I thought you wanted to be an engine driver," sneered the driver. "..that was my second option." Thomas giggled at his crews' antics. "Either way, we'll find out who made his sick whether it be Diesel...or steam." and Thomas stormed away towards Brendam Docks.

At the Docks, Billy was shunting some trucks alongside Porter when Thomas arrived. "Hello Thomas!" called Billy. "Hi Billy, Porter." said Thomas, "Hey Porter, can I ask you something?" "Of course!" "Can you tell me when the coal first came here?" "Around 2:00 yesterday," replied Porter. "And who delivered the trucks to all the coal bunkers?" Porter gulped, not sure what to do. "Um..." He looked at Billy, then back to Thomas. "Billy..." Billy's eyes widened in alarm. "What?! I didn't know!" Thomas was cross. "Billy!" "You have to believe me Thomas, I swear! I didn't do anything!" Billy defended himself. But Thomas had already puffed away to Tidmouth to tell everyone the news. "Uh oh... Sorry Billy..." groaned Porter. Billy was upset. "It wasn't your fault Porter... But I just hope I don't get into too much trouble."

James and Percy arrived at Tidmouth Sheds together to find Thomas telling the other engines about the Docks' records. "So Porter told me that Billy had delivered the trucks!" Thomas told the engines. "So apparently Billy's responsible!" spluttered Gordon, "Disgraceful!" "Disgusting!" put in James. "Despicable! *cough*" finished Henry. Bulgy drove by with Emily's normal passengers. Thomas noticed the bus. "Bulgy!" cried Thomas. Bulgy stopped. "What do you want?" he asked rudely. "Can you go to the station and tell the Fat Controller about Billy?" "What did he do?" asked Bulgy. "He gave us the bad coal!" cried Thomas. "Sure, I'll go report him," and he drove away, but Edward wasn't convinced. "Thomas, don't accuse others for something. Billy isn't that bad of an engine." "He's right," agreed Toby, "He may be careless but-" Thomas had already chuffed away before Toby could finish. "Well, we'll have to find the Fat Controller before Bulgy does..." said Toby. Before anyone could say anything, BoCo arrived to collect Henry. "Come on Henry, time to get your firebox cleaned," he said. "Oh, thank you BoCo." Henry said gratefully as the Diesel towed him away. "There goes one candidate." said Toby. Emily looked to Edward and Toby. "Both of you are old and not that fast. Or at least right now. *wheeze* Perhaps somebody else should go." Everybody looked to Gordon. "Me?! No way! Besides, I just got my firebox cleaned out. No way I'm going to waste my coal on some bus. Besides, Billy's guilty anyway." "Gordon, you're the fastest engine on the railway!" pleaded Percy. "No I'm not, Pip and Emma are! Ask them!" snorted Gordon. Percy got an idea to try and get Gordon to go. "Perhaps this could be your chance to prove you're faster..." said Percy cheekily. Gordon was cross. "That won't work either! I've become friends with Pip and Emma. Don't try your stupid manipulation." The engines were now desperate. They looked to Emily when Pip and Emma raced into Tidmouth. "See, there they are!" cried Gordon. "Percy, go tell them!" cried James. Percy gulped. "Do I?" he shivered. "Go on scaredy engine; you know them!" huffed Gordon. Percy sighed and puffed up to the station. "Uh, hi you two. Where are you going?" asked Percy. "To Barrow, as always." chirped Emma. "Oh, silly me... Can I ask you to get to Knapford before Bulgy?" continued Percy. Pip and Emma looked confusingly to each other. "But why?" asked Pip "Thomas and some of the others are accusing Billy of the bad coal, but some of us, including me, feel it's unfair. However, Thomas already sent Bulgy to go tell the Fat Controller, so you have to get there first and tell him it was all a misunderstanding." Pip and Emma knew it was important if Percy talked in such long sentences. "Right, Percy!" said Emma. "We're going!" called Pip and they raced away.

"Come Pip, we have no time to lose!" Pip and Emma raced along the tracks at high speed. Bulgy was on the road alongside, not paying the slightest attention to Pip and Emma; he didn't really know or care what they were doing. "Hi Bulgy!" said Pip. "Bye Bulgy!" said Emma as they flew by. Bulgy was surprised. "What the heck? Why would you purposely try and pass me? Eh, I don't care anyway..." "That was easy," giggled Emma. "Of course it is; we are pretty fast." grinned Pip as they could see Knapford up ahead. At the station, Diesel 10 was trying to reason with the Fat Controller to scrap steam engines. "Please sir, if you just got Diesels like me, this wouldn't have happened." The Fat Controller shook his head. "I doubt it. Besides, your diesel fuel is just as likely to get poisoned. Enough of you stupid stories, Diesel 10." Diesel 10 was cross and snapped Pinchy. "But sir!" Suddenly Pip and Emma arrived. "See? Like Pip and Emma; they can replace Gordon!" said Diesel 10. "Actually they're only covering for him since he's in no shape to pull the express right now." said the Fat Controller. Diesel 10 growled angrily. "Hello!" called Pip and they stopped. "Pip? Emma? Why did you stop here? This isn't your station!" boomed the Fat Controller. "We're here to deliver a message." said Pip. The Fat Controller blinked. "Come again?" "Thomas sent Bulgy to tell you about Billy, who is currently being accused of delivering the bad coal on purpose." explained Emma. Suddenly Bulgy drove up on the road. "Ha, perfect timing! As always... Sir, I've got to-" The Fat Controller held up his hand, interrupting Bulgy. "Everyone, be quiet! What in the world is going on here?" "We just said so, sir..." murmured Emma. "So Thomas is accusing one of my engines?" Pip and Emma murmured in unison, "Yes." The Fat Controller thought for a moment. "Honestly, I wouldn't blame him." "What?!" cried Pip, Emma and Bulgy together. "A mistake any engine could make. Besides, Billy's first day here wasn't the best one," replied the Fat Controller, "and I'll find out who loaded the boat with coal too. I'm not saying he should've accused him, of course."

Bulgy, Pip, Emma, and Diesel 10 were surprised. "Anyhow, I'll find Thomas soon enough. Winston, let's go." "Alright, sir." said Winston as the Fat Controller closed the door to his inspection car. Winston drove away quickly. Whiff arrived with a train full of rubbish. "So what's going on?" he asked cheerily. Nobody responded. "Why's it so quiet?" asked a puzzled Whiff as the engines left. "I don't smell that bad, do I?" asked Whiff to himself.

Thomas was with Annie and Clarabel in the carriage shed. "Well Annie, Clarabel, it seems that Bulgy hasn't come back with the Fat Controller yet," questioned Thomas, "I wonder why?" Annie and Clarabel were cross with Thomas' decision.. "Thomas! Why would you accuse Billy?" asked Clarabel. "Well..." Suddenly the Fat Controller drove up in Winston. "Thomas! I'd like a word..." said the Fat Controller flatly. Thomas was surprised that he wasn't with Bulgy but puffed over. "Yes sir?" the tank engine asked, slightly nervous. "Thomas, I don't like it when other engines accuse my engines of something they didn't do!" Thomas was worried. "Well, I'm sorry sir, but, uh, I didn't know..." "Billy didn't know either Thomas," said Annie. "You shouldn't have accused!" scolded Clarabel. Deep down in his boiler, Thomas knew Annie and Clarabel were right. "I'm sorry sir..." whispered Thomas. "I'm not the one you should be apologizing to." said the Fat Controller gravely, "Billy should be along with a train." Thomas was surprised as Billy puffed in with a flatbed of Diesel fuel, for Mavis. Thomas sighed. "Billy..." Billy scowled at Thomas and looked away. Thomas tried again. "Billy, I'm sorry. I shouldn't have accused you of anything. Can you forgive me?" Billy grinned. "Of course Thomas!" Thomas grinned too and the coaches chuckled at the happy scene. Now the coal is cleared from the island and the engines are racing along again. Best of all, Billy and Thomas are friends again.


  • Thomas
  • Edward
  • Henry
  • Gordon
  • James
  • Percy
  • Toby
  • Emily
  • Duck
  • Donald and Douglas
  • Oliver
  • Arthur
  • Murdoch
  • Rosie
  • Whiff
  • Billy
  • Porter
  • Timothy
  • BoCo
  • Daisy
  • Pip and Emma
  • Diesel 10
  • Winston
  • Jock
  • Annie and Clarabel
  • Bulgy
  • Cranky
  • The Fat Controller
  • Bill and Ben (do not speak)
  • Hank (does not speak)
  • Salty (does not speak)
  • Paxton (does not speak)
  • Fergus (cameo)
  • Molly (cameo)
  • Neville (cameo)
  • Stanley (cameo)
  • Flora (cameo)
  • Charlie (cameo)
  • Marion (cameo)
  • Norman (cameo)
  • Toad (cameo)
  • Algy (cameo)
  • Nicholas (cameo)
  • Mavis (mentioned)
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